tv Public Affairs Events CSPAN November 10, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm EST
moments speak 1,000 words. i guess that's what we're talking about. >> listen, i understand that. we'll consult with the white house photographer and see if there are photos he was able to capture of that moment and share them with all of you. it certainly is not just your right but your responsibility to advocate for more access, and i respect that. >> thank you. lastly, can you give us a construct of what it looks like when a former president counsels a current president? i know that bill clinton counselled george w. bush. as you said, the president has taken the counsel of other presidents. what are some of the issues and what does that look like, if you could tell us that? >> we have gone to great lengths to keep that private. that consultation between presidents and former presidents is private. and there's a special bond that
people who have assumed this awesome responsibility, leading the greatest country in the world, have. and so they have unique and sensitive conversations that i can't provide much insight into other than to tell you that they have occurred not just with presidents in the same parties. president obama didn't just consult with president clinton but has had useful, warm, supportive conversations on a variety of topics with presidents in both parties. and i guess the best example i could give you would be of president george h.w. bush. you have heard the president, i believe, speak in the past about how much he valued those kinds of interactions. and i don't want to leave you with the impression they had dozens of phone conversations in the last eight years, but on those opportunities that president obama has had to visit with president george h.w. bush, bush 41, the president has come
away with enormous respect for his service to the country and for his wisdom about what's required to lead the country. so the -- that's just one example. obviously, the relationship between president obama and president clinton is one that benefitted president obama enormously. over the last several years, you have seen firsthand the kind of relationship that exists between president george w. bush and laura bush and the president and first lady. so these kinds of relationships are important. and if that extends into the next presidency, president obama is committed to doing his part to try to provide the kind of counsel he's benefitted from in the course of his presidency. >> you talked a variety. he has talked to former presidents of a variety of topics. is it domestic policy, more foreign policy, or just the history of it all when it comes to certain issues? >> it's both, sort of deal with the demands of the office. these are the kinds of things
that are part and parcel of conversations between somebody who is bearing an enormous burden, and somebody who has dedicated a significant portion of their previous life to fulfilling the same task. >> open to doing this then when he is president, when he is number 45, he would be able to do it at any moment? >> as i mentioned, and i would say this applies not only in the transition but after, that president obama believes that -- well, president obama will be rooting for the president-elect to succeed in uniting the country and in moving our country forward. okay. christy. >> first, you said that you met with hope hicks and then you said you met her. >> yeah. so ms. hicks had an opportunity to have a meeting with my colleagues jennifer and liz allen, the communications director and deputy communications director at the white house. while she was in that meeting, i
had an opportunity to introduce myself and meet her briefly. >> did you have a chance to talk about what it's like to do your job? >> no, i did not have that conversation with her. but i will certainly have that conversation with the person that the president-elect selects to succeed me once he's made that decision. i didn't have that conversation with ms. hicks and i don't have a sense of who the president-elect may have in mind. >> also, i asked you this yesterday, but maybe you know a little more today about what the president's message will be to foreign leaders when he goes overseas? >> i didn't have a details conversation with him about that. the president was interested in making sure that the president-elect was aware of the kinds of conversations that are scheduled in the course of the next week. but foreign leaders understand the same principle that i have described earlier, which is that president obama will be president of the united states through january 20th and he will exercise all the authorities of that office until then. but in this transition period,
the president is interested in making sure that the incoming president has insight into the kinds of conversations and issues that he will inherit on the afternoon of january 20th. >> will he be reflecting to those foreign leaders any of his impressions of his -- of the president-elect based on today? >> i wouldn't preview the conversations at this point. after those conversations have occurred, we'll do our best to read those out to you and give you a sense of how those kinds of conversations -- i'll just affirm that i'm confident this will be a subject of discussion he has with every world leader when he travels next week. >> yesterday, you said the president was reassuring allies and partners of the u.s. commitment. does he still plan to do that? >> he will offer his reassurance to our allies that the historically united states of america even across political parties has been committed to not just upholding but actually seeking to strengthen the
alliances that we have with countries around the world. the view of democratic and republican presidents has been that the robust health of those alliances makes america safer. and both presidents of both parties have been committed to investing in those alliances, and that certainly is whats happened in the past. i'll let the president-elect and his team discuss what their plans are for some of those alliances, but certainly our allies should understand president obama's view and should understand the history, the long-standing history in this country about the way that we not just maintain but actually advance our alliances around the world. okay. >> first of all, is that in terms of donald trump when you talked about how the trip would
unfold, did he talk about the importance of valuing alliances and not withdrawing from them and honoring what the tradition has been on that front? >> i don't know how detailed a conversation they had about the priorities that president obama places on our alliances. the president was interested in insuring that the president-elect was aware of the conversations that were scheduled and the president wanted to give him insight into the kinds of issues he expected would come up in those conversations. more than that, i don't have much more insight about the conversation i can share. >> during the campaign, the president spoke ovabout how serious of a job the presidency is, what it's like to sit in the oval office and make decisions. and criticized mr. trump for, in his view, not having that kind of a approach that was needed to be president. did he give him any advice, talk to him about that issue and how he would need to step up or anything to do differently in order to succeed at the job he
has now? >> i think the fact they spent so much time discussing the organization of the white house, i think should be an indication that the president-elect takes seriously the important responsibility that he's been given. and i think that's also -- i think that's something we also can conclude based on the kind of tone that we have heard from the president-elect in the two statements he's delivered since the outcome of the election was announced. but you know, i think more generally, you would have to talk to the president-elect for his view on this topic. >> human resources and personnel and then there's how you comport yourself and whether you take seriously the office of the presidency, which is something the president said in the past he doesn't believe mr. trump is capable of. did he give him advice or
pointers on -- >> i am not sure if they discussed this specific topic or not. >> can you just -- you may have touched on this. is it true that the president-elect is now receiving the two dalea intelligence briefings prior to the transition. >> the intelligence community has made those available. i don't know whether the president-elect, the vice president-elect and their national security dezzing nees have received a briefing. you can check with them. >> ask about obamacare, the affordable care act. is it the president's position that americans who currently take advantage of the affordable care act needn't be worried about its demise upon the ascension into the office of president-elect trump? >> we got good news on the affordable care act today. yesterday was the highest -- i guess i should say the best day of the open enrollment period
thus far. yesterday, more than 100,000 people selected plans at health ca care.gov. that's an indication of the intense demand for the kinds of insurance offerings that are available to people at healthcare.gov. that's an indition of the success of the program when you consider the intense demand people have for these services. and for these opportunities that aren't available other places and are only available because of the affordable care act. that said, the president himself has acknowledged there are some things that we could do to strengthen the program further. things like expanding access to tax credits that would reduce health care costs for more americans. in some cases, if we got more states to expand medicaid, again, this is providing health insurance to low-income americans, paid for almost entirely by the federal government, doing so would put downward pressure on the premiums paid by everybody. that would be a good outcome, and certainly finding ways to
overcome the politically motivated objections of republicans who have blocked medicaid expansion in their states would be good for the law. >> absolutely. i guess what i'm getting to, are they using obamacare whistling past the graveyard knowing that the president-elect will have the congress and the power to essentially repeal it? >> no, they're not. because these are benefits that are available to them today. and we certainly would encourage people to sign up and capitalize on the good opportunities that are there. for the vast majority of people who sign up, more than 7 in 10 will be able to sign up for health care plan for $75 a month or less. >> you're saying i'm not concerned in any way, and you're telling the american people youtient be concerned in any way that obamacare, the benefit that you receive under obamacare, will be going away any time soon. >> what i'm saying is that the president-elect is going to make his own decisions and worries about those future decisions should not have any impact on
anybody capitalizing on the opportunities that are available to them today at healthcare.gov. >> can i ask about the electoral college? there's been some sort of conversation, we have heard this in 2000. some have said, well, one person receives a majority of the votes, maybe it's time to do away with it. usually you get that from the side that lost. what's the president's view of the electoral college? is it time to give it a fresh look? >> listen, i'm not aware of any constitutional reform proposals the president has put forward. look, this is our system. this is a system that has been in place for a long time. t everybody knew the rules before the race started and campaigned accordingly. that's the reason the candidates and their surrogates spent so much time in states like florida and north carolina with those were states that have a lot of electoral votes and where the polls indicated that the race was going to be very close. so everybody executed a strategy consistent with their knowledge of the rules.
as has often been discussed, there were proposals like the one you're hinting at, with have a pretty significant impact on the strategy that people put forward. it would encourage candidates to actually spend more time early provided incentive for some candidates to spend more time in the communities where they have more sporters. you could imagine democratic candidates spending more time doing rallies in places like northern california and new york city. where republicans, on the other hand, might spend more time in places like new orleans and dallas. to try to drive up the turnout and maximize the kind of turnout from their supporters. so there are consequences for putting forth those kinds of reforms and there are some pros and cons. look, the fact that secretary clinton won the popular vote on tuesday is indicative of the strong support across the country for her candidacy, for the agenda she put forward.
and the president is hopeful that 58 million, 59 million americans who got involved and were engaged in support of her campaign don't linger too long on the disappointment about the loss of their candidate and will seize the opportunity to remain engaged in our political debate. >> i know you don't have scheduling aidates at the moment about the president maybe talking about tpp on the hill. is it time that he continued to get over there, maybe rally the troops and see if anything can get done? >> kevin, the president did have that conversation with leader mcconnell yesterday. i know he's been working to schedule a conversation with speaker ryan. i don't know that that's occ occurred yet, but the president and his team are in touch with leaders in both parties on capitol hill about the important work that needs to be done before the end of the world. >> do you have a count? >> not one that i have seen publicly, but you can check with the vote counters on capitol hill. >> last one.
i'll ask you pretty much weekly. i think the number is less than 60, according to my last update, any read out on the possibility that that number will be dropping below say 50 in the next week? >> i don't have predictions at this point, but obviously, we continue to do the important diplomatic work of transferring those individuals that had been determined by a review board that they can be safely transferred under a set of restrictions to other countries. i don't have any upcoming transfers to preview, but i can confirm if any are made, we'll announce them publicly. sarah. >> on the campaign trail, does the first lady see herself as having a role in projecting this smooth transition of power? >> she doesn't have any sort of vested constitutional responsibility that relates to a transition. i think what you saw today was a gesture of poshospitality to th
incoming first lady. mrs. obama has talked before publicly about the stresses and anxieties of moving to a new place, living inside a fish bowl, living inside a museum. and raising a family there. and i'm sure that mrs. trump is feeling many of those same anxieties as she prepares to move herself and her family into the white house. and so the courtesy that mrs. obama extended is root eed in h own experience of going through this difficult transition. >> when you and the president say you hope donald trump is successful, given that the president has said he sees trump as having the potential to undermine democracy, undermine american ideals, what -- wouldn't it be fair to say you don't want him to be successful? >> that's a good question.
the point i made, and i try to be precise about this, is that the president's view is that our country benefits when we have a president who succeeds in helping the american people understand our collective interests. and that's why, you know, the president has talked about his hopes that president trump will succeed in uniting the country. there are some profound political differences that were revealed by this election, and you know, our country will be better served if we can try to bridge the gap. it doesn't mean we're going to agree on anything, and it doesn't mean that president obama is now endorsing every policy proposal that the president elect vows to pursue. their differences remain. their differences are profound. but our country succeeds and our country does best when we have a president who is succeeding in uniting and leading the country.
and that's what the president is hopeful for and the president, the current president is going to do his part to try to give the incoming president every advantage as he seeks to do that. that is, after all, the message we heard from president-elect trump on election night. >> did the birther issue come up at all? >> i'm not aware that it did. i'm not aware that it did. george. >> thanks. speaking of the fish bowl, as the new team looks to name its press secretary and communications director, what advise would you give them generally on press relations and specifically on pools? >> yeah. well, let me stipulate i'm not sure they're going to be interested all that much in advice from me. that's okay. i stand ready to provide whatever advice is sought. the first thing i would tell them is you're a bunch of softies. i wouldn't say that. unfortunately, that's not true.
what i would tell them is that they have a responsibility to communicate with the white house press core. the white house press corps has a critically important constitutional function to hold people in power accountable. and that's something that you and your news organizations devote significant time and resources to. there's also a lot of expertise in this room. there are a lot of people in here who have covered many different white houses. and that historical perspective is something that benefits your ability to describing the american people what is happening here. and i guess the last thing -- there are a lot of things, the last thing i'll say to you about what i would say to them is that it's hard to read things in the media that are critical of you.
it's hard to read things in the press that are critical of things that you deeply believe in and that you've been working day and night to advance. and so there's a natural tendency, i think, to recoil and to write off people who disagree with you as people who are not worth talking to. and that is a natural human tend nlsy and temptation. and my advice to the incoming person would be to not give into that temptation. the kinds of conversation s i hd with all of you, everyone in this room on many akalgzs have written things or broadcast things about the white house that i didn't agree with, that i didn't think were fair, that i didn't thought reflect the kinds of priorities that we have established or accurately
reflect what we're trying to do, but those stories never got better by ignoring your e-mails or ignoring your phone calls or telling you you're not allowed to come in my office anymore. that's never happened. the way to try to change your view or to try to influence your reporting is to make a case to you on the merits. and you can't do that if you don't pick up the phone and you can't do that if you won't return an e-mail. that's the philosophy we have pursued here. i'm sure there will be plenty of people who will say that on your side who would say we didn't do that enough or maybe that we did too much. and we are always second guessing, but that's the strategy we have pursued. i think that strategy has served president obama well. but most importantly, i think that strategy has served the american people well for helping them understand what we're doing here. after all, if you believe as deeply and as strongly as i do
about what we're doing, then you should be interested in having an opportunity to make the case to the american public because it's likely to persuade people. and that's the approach we have taken and i think the president and the american people have been well served by it. >> particularly on pools. >> on the pools, look, as having a pool of reporters follow you around everywhere you go is inconvenient, occasionally annoying and takes a long time to get used to. but it serves an important purpose. and this white house has gone to great lengths to coordinate with all of you as you organize that effort. and i would recommend that the incoming administration do the same. okay, alexis. >> first. you may remember that in the transition from george w. bush
to barack obama, the commander in chief briefing or talking to the incoming commander in chief had three things on his mind, classified things that he wanted to personally brief the incoming president obama on. did president obama today use this opportunity to do something similar with president-elect trump? to talk about classified things related to being commander in chief or international policy? and use today as that venue for that? >> president obama did use this occasion to talk about some important foreign policy priorities. i don't know the extent to which those conversations would be classified. in part because i didn't hear them. so there was important information that was discussed, but i don't know if where they would rate on the classification scale. >> following up on julie's
question, because there was a reference to air force one or some of the perks that come with the white house, did the president take a moment to even make reference to the value of the encrypted smartphone? >> i don't know to what extent they talked about personal communication devices. but presumably, they will. >> is the president still the head of the democratic party, to what extent will he leweigh in the leadership questions? >> having moved to washington, d.c. in 2001 for the first time, the democratic party was facing a similar question because when there's one party that's in the white house and that same party controls congress, it elevates the position of the chair of the dnc, so it's an important decision. i don't know to what extent president obama will weigh in on it. as i recall from 2001, that was a race that was hotly contested
and closely covered by the news media. i would participate that candidates would cover the endorsement of the president. i don't know to what extent he'll have one to offer but we'll keep you posted. >> the question goes back to the issue of press access and pools and so on. you spoke about the press access and encouraging that. why, then, did the president tell the president-elect not to answer -- >> i think he was making clear that she's not obligated to do so. obviously, the president-elect if he wanted to answer those shouted questions, he could. president obama on many occasions has chosen to answer those questions. on many more occasions, he's chosen not to. i think that tradition is something he's communicating to the president-elect. okay. victoria. >> in the bottom of the meeting,
he was -- the tenor of his voice was a little nervous for him. he seemed, frankly, awed after 90 minutes with the president. can you characterize how he seemed? because he seemed gobsmacked? >> i was standing behind the pool in the oval office when they both spoke, so you had a better view of him than i did. i was, frankly, at the beginning of their comments, i was focused on what president obama was saying. i wasn't reading body language. >> you don't have sense of his affect? >> i don't. i don't. >> i thing about the transition in terms of cooperation, coordination, and maybe intelligence and insight, might you envision the president and mr. trump as they build their relationship started today that there will actually be a conversation in terms of the president's insight on some of the world leaders mr. trump is going to have to deal with in
the next two months? >> they don't have any additional meetings on the books right now, but i wouldn't rule out future meetings, and again, if president-elect trump were interested in president obama's counsel about his communications or his relationship with some foreign leader, i'm confident that president obama would not his tate to share. >> does the election change any of the strategy on finishing the spending bills for this year, or are you going to do a cr? >> well, let me answer your question first by saying no, that we have consistently advocated for congress fulfilling its responsibility to pass budgets that give agencies in the federal government certainty about their budget picture. that's particularly true when you're talking about the kinds of commitments made by the department of defense and our intelligence communities. it extends significant tons of
money to keep us safe, and just funding them two or three or four months at a time is not a smart way to do it. so we'll engage in conversations with capitol hill and president obama has already done that with the republican leader. to talk to them and to urge them to fulfill their basic responsibility to pass the kind of budget that would provide some certainty to military, national security, and other federal government officials that have important responsibilities. the president believes it's important to give them certainty so they can make longer-term decisions with confidence. >> the reverse of that, have you from capitol hill on whether they agree with that? >> well, again, i'll let members of capitol hill express their own view, but there have been a number of conversations, mostly at the staff level, about this and other topics that relate to the work that congress must get done before the end of the year. >> given the statements of
trump, that they want to invoke obama's executive orders, does it put the brakes on some executive orders and do you have some that are expected? >> i don't have anything to say about upcoming executive orders other than to tell you that i'm not aware that any of our plans in that area have been affected by the election. >> between now and the end, because there seems to have been a concentrated effort to deal with people imprisoned for long drug-related terms. what was the forecast on that? is this a part of obama's legacy that can't be taken away, as you see it? >> the president has made this a priority. and the president does believe that there are some injustices that can be corrected using his klemm nclemency authorities. and he's done that with respect
to a certain classification of convictions, more than the last ten or 11 presidents combined. i do think that's an important part of his legacy. he would much prefer that his legacy include the passage of criminal justice reform legislation that would be much more effective in addressing some of the widespread inequities that leaders in both parties have identified. unfortunately, that has not happened. i don't know if congress will get that done before the end of the year. the president will certainly encourage them to try to do that. and there is bipartisan agreement around this. i can't speak to the president-elect's view of this priority. but obviously, it's one that president obama and his team have invested deeply in. i would expect additional commutations before the president leaves office. those are the decisions that have been in the pipelines even before the outcome of the election. yment n i'm not aware that the outcome
of the election would have an impact on those. >> is there legislation you think you could get passed before he leaves office? >> we'll have conversations about that. we'll see. francesca, the last one. >> let me start by saying i appreciate you pointing out that in 2008 and 2000, reporters didn't have access to the oval office. i think what we're trying to understand is with the thinking behind not allowing reporters to be on the south lawn today, what the thinking was behind that and why that happened. >> the idea was just that we wanted to provide you the best access we could. and the best access that all of you have consistently advocated for over the last eight years is access to the president and the person he's meeting with in the oval office with statements. and that's what was provided today. >> and what then, if anything,
should we draw from the fact we have neither heard from nor seen the first lady today? >> well, listen, as i mentioned earlier, we'll consult with the white house photographer. so we'll try to expedite the release of photos so you can see that interaction, but i can tell you that the first lady enjoyed the opportunity that she had to welcome mrs. trump to the white house and to give her the tour that i described earlier and to discuss unique demands of raising a family in the white house. and the first lady was pleased to extend that courtesy to mrs. trump and enjoyed the opportunity that she had to visit with her today. >> also put in a request for some of the ones you described on the truman balcony. i don't know if the photographer was following them. if there were any of that you could release. >> we'll see what we have. i don't know how closely the white house photographer was following them, but we'll see
it was wide ranging. we talked about some of the organizational issues in setting up the white house. we talked about foreign policy. we talked about domestic policy. and as i said last night, my number one priority in the coming two months is to try to facilitate a transition that insures our president-elect is successful. and have been very encouraged by the, i think, interest in president-elect trump's wanting to work with my team around many of the issues that this great country faces. and i believe that it is important for all of us, regardless of party, and regardless of political
preferences, to now come together, work together to deal with the many challenges that we face. and in the meantime, michelle has had a chance to greet the incoming first lady, and they had an excellent conversation with her as well, and we want to make sure that they feel welcomed as they prepare to make this transition. most of all, i want to emphasize to you, mr. president-elect, that we now are going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you succeed, then the country succeeds. please. >> well, thank you very much, president obama. this was a meeting that was going to last for maybe 10 or 15 minutes. and we were just going to get to know each other. we had never met each other. i have great respect. the meeting lasted for almost an
hour and a half. and it could have, as far as i'm concerned, he could have gone on for a lot longer. we really discussed a lot of different situations. some wonderful and some difficulties. i very much look forward to dealing with the president in the future, including counsel. he explained some of the difficulties, some of the high-flying assets, and some of the really great things that have been achieved. so mr. president, it was a great honor being with you, and i look forward to being with you many, many more times in the future. >> thank you. >> thank you, everybody. we are not going to be taking any questions. thank you, guys. thank you. good rule. don't answer questions when they start yelling. come on, guys. come on, guys. let's go.
>> very good man. >> thank you. appreciate it. >> thank you, guys. >> coming up later today on our companion network, c-span, a conversation from smithsonian associates on campaign 2016. we'll hear from democratic and republican pollsters and reporters from cnn and msnbc. that's live at 6:45 eastern on c-span. and friday is veterans day, at 11:00 a.m. eastern, president obama lays a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier at arlington national cemetery. you can see it live on c-span. >> with donald trump elected as the nedz u.s. president, melania trump becomes our nation's second foreign born first lady since louisa catherine adams.
learn more about presidential first ladies in "first ladies." a look into every presidential spouse in american history. it's a companion to the well regarded biography tv series and features interviews with 54 of the leading first ladies historians, biographies of 45 first ladies and archival photos from their lives. "first ladies" is available wherever you buy books. and now available in paperback. >> up next on c-span3, a conversation with gun control activists and public health experts on approaches to reducing gun violence. from the university of california at irvine, this is an hour and a half.
>> good afternoon, everyone. i'll ask you to please silence your cell phones. i'll give you a moment so you can do that. i'm michele goodwin. i chair the center for global technology at the university of california irvine and am chair for the task force for studying gun violence. a pleasure to welcome you all here to our nation's capital. for this congressional briefing on gun violence. joining me today is an esteemed panel of people who are
providing diverse perspectives on gun violence and police violence in the united states today. they include civil right attorney robert bennett. they include jack cole, founder of law enforcement against prohibition. includes judge glenda hatchett, who is representing philando castil castile's family in the tragedy we saw aired out by diamond reynolds worldwide last year as she recorded the aftermath of an officer who killed philando castile while her 4-year-old daughter was in the back seat. we're also joined by nardyne jeffries, a mother who is here who will share the news with you about the tragic death of her daughter, who died in a mass shooting here in washington, d.c., gunned down by an ak-47. we also have camellia wiumecume
williams who shares the story of losing 48 friends and family from gun violence in the south side of chicago. something no one should ever have to endure or live with. we have dr. george woods, who is a neuropsychiatrist and the president of the american academy for law and mental health. now, why have we brought this esteemed panel of experts to you? we've done so because gun violence is a multi-spirit issue. you cannot look at it through simply one lens. that's inefficient. it impacts every aspect of a person's life in the united states. and they will talk about that today from many different perspectives. it's important to think about these issues not only as
political issues because we do expect and want congress to take action. as many have said both in newspaper reporting, on television screens, in protests outside of the supreme court, protests outside of congress, there's been a failure to act. failure to pass sufficient gun reform legislation. the docky amendment still hangs heavy over the cdc, restricting researchers from actually studying the public health impact of gun violence, so many have talked about the nra as stifling congress to do anything effective and efficient in this particular domain, but in all of that conversation, one critical aspect that we also see missing is a care for the type of trauma that is experienced by the poor. the kind of trauma that is experienced in communities of color. in one week, sandy hook is an
experience that chicago visits over and over again. just this weekend in chicago, it was the most grotesque and highest level of gun violence they have seen and then followed up monday also by similar statistics. now, who bothers to send in counselors to visit with poor children living on the south side of chicago and other communities? they don't get the type of attention that they deserve. they don't get the type of help that they need at all. but their voices and their liv s s matter, and we will be hearing about that today. but i also want to flag another issue for you. and that is the impact of gun violence on vulnerable communities generally. for example, let's think about women. with each day, death by gun violence increases for women, children, and other vulnerable populations, gun violence exacts
a particularly devastating toll. women living in the united states of america are 11 times more likely to be murdered with guns than women in any other high-income country. now think about that. 11 times more likely than any of our peer countries. the connection between domestic violence and gun violence is statistically remarkable. the presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide for women by 500%. and yet, in some states, there are legislators that are pushing for doctors to have a gag order so that they are not able to ask a woman who lives in such a situation whether there is a gun in the home. we see similar tragedies with children and those will be talked about today. we have a tight agenda for you
today. we're being covered by c-span and we want to thank our viewing audience for tuning in with us. we will have three guests at the mike. first, we will have nardyne jeffries. she will be followed by camiella williams and then by judge glenda hatchett. and following that, we will have a panel discussion and then q&a. i thank you all for being here with us, and ms. jeffries. >> good afternoon. my name is nardyne jeffries. i live here in washington, d.c., and on march 30th, 2010, was a night i'll never forget. my only child was gunned down in what was known as the worst mass shooting in d.c.'s history in 16
years. prior to the navy yard shooting. most people don't know that because that's not the way that the media reports stories when the children or the victims, period, do not have blond hair, blue eyes, and white skin. my daughter was -- had attended a funeral earlier that day. the young man was gunned down by the same individuals. and a lot of people ask me, well, how does my daughter's shooting intersect with police shootings? and my answer is, she was not killed by the police, but the policing was done in a different manner. living in ward 8 is different than living in ward 1. and i have family that lives in ward 1, and i know when dogs are missing, certain things are going on in ward 1, you see posters posted all on the light posts, a dog is missing. someone is flashing, someone is doing something. when young people are running around seeking revenge on people when an ak-47, a 9-millimeter
extended glock clip, and a .45, that was not brought to the community's attention. so as a mother, as a parent, i should have had the information given to me to know how to protect my child, and i would not allow my child to leave out of the home that day. this is the devastation that i have to witness. this is my child, head blown open with an ak-47, at close range. her shoulder was also blown open with an ak-47. her best friend was shot in the knee with a .9-millimeter, also in the shoulder with an ak-47. my question to the police was, at what point did you know there was going to be retaliation? and they knew immediately. but again, they did not give that information to any of us in the community. they had information to go into a home with a search warrant and refused to do so because of the time they received the warrant. they did not put surveillance on that property, and they moved
the guns. the killers got information that they were being watched. so they moved the guns. so all of these things play a significant role into my life. my daughter was not on drugs. my daughter was not in a gang. which is what most people ask when they hear about young black people and brown people being shot down. my daughter was not in the wrong place at the wrong time. i bought a home in southwest, southeast d.c. i pay taxes. i work hard. i'm educated. and my daughter was the same. i allowed her to go out to dp a backpack off after she attended a funeral, and my child should have been safe, but instead, she was slaughtered with three different weapons shot into a crowd indiscriminately, and no one down here seems to care. no one in america seems to care. my child was taken from me, and my future generations. that was the only child i had. that was the only child i will ever have. so i do not get the joys of
becoming a grandmother. i do not get the experience of her going to college, as she was going that fall. and a lot of people don't seem to think that people that look like me go to college look like me go to college or have a passport and travel and that's not the case. we all bleed the same color blood and we all breathe the same polluted air and i think that our government needs to do better with laws and protecting all americans. not just certain americans. we are in a first world country and i think we should start acting like we are in a first world country and treat each other with the respect and love that we need and auto we dee srv. we are not an animal and speaking of animals i found that almost kind of like -- i guess an oxymoron. animals have more rights in this country than black humans. i saw on facebook the other day a gvp which is gun violence prevention group, they wanted to have a call in action because there was a black labrador
killed in virginia. and i'm not saying to gun down an animal is not, you know, a devastating issue. it is. but you want to call to action for us to do something for an animal, but you don't want to call to action for anything that is pertaining to black and brown people that are gunned down every single day. not only in the district of columbia, but all over the united states of america. but the only stories that seem to move america are the ones that are either pushed to the forefront through the media or when the victims look different than myself. and i just want to, you know -- my thing is i want us to do better as from a media standpoint. i want us to do better from a human standpoint. i want us to do better from a legislative standpoint because, like i said, you are put into office, you are elected by your constituents to do something and i don't think that is to allow any and everyone with a pulse to just have guns and freely roam
down the streets and do whatever they would like to do. we have to do better than what we've done. this should not be what's burned into my brain. this is not what i have to look at and think about all the time. my daughter would have turned 23 this december 23rd and instead of having a birthday -- you know, i don't even know what she would look like as an adult. so my thing is when do we stop and look at -- stop -- stop looking at the color of our skin and look at us from a human standpoint. we're humans. i'm a mother. when one mother cries, every mother should cry because that's how i do. i don't focus on, oh, well, this is in that neighborhood or this happened over there. when one mother hurts, we all hurt. when one brother hurts, we all should hurt. when one father hurts, we all are hurting. when one human being has been violently slaughtered in this
first world industrialized nation we all as human beings should feel bad. it's a ripple effect. or it should be. not one human is more valuable than another human. not one story is more important than another story. so i just urge everyone to come together and let's band together and let's get some kind of resources put into the communities. i'm right here in washington, d.c. and i watch people come in and out of the city and talk about all the things that's going on in their suburban neighborhoods. guess what, there's a lot going on right here in washington, d.c. we need to focus on not just what's going on outside of our jurisdiction but also within. so when there are things that you can do in your community, do that. reach outside of the box. embrace everyone. we're all brothers and sisters and that's just the way i was raised an that's how i see it. thank you.
[ applause ] >> thank you very much, miss jeffries. it always to mind the town hall that we just had in chicago on september the 22nd when we had a mother -- a couple of mothers -- actually a few mothers that were there, but one who spoke at the town hall who wanted to emphasize to all who would listen that she and her husband had done all the things that were right. part of the rhetoric about gun violence in the united states, particularly when we focus on people of color, is that their kids must have been doing something wrong. that their kids were in the wrong place. well, as this mother told us, her son was gunned down in front of a church. that he, in fact, had done everything right. he heard gun violence and went outside to try to protect some young women who were outside and he got gunned down in the process. there was another mother who then spoke up and she said, yes,
we did everything right. we had the college fund already put away for our son. he had braces. she was describing the kinds of things that we expect that middle class families do and that many poor families have done and that it's not a matter of wrong time, wrong place and wrong kids, wrong behavior, but this is a problem that has permeated many of our communities with people who do their very best. next i'd like to call camiella williams, please. >> good afternoon. i'm camiella williams. i'm from chicago. chicago is yet again in the media for gun violence. i'm 28, i will be 29 thursday gratefully, but many of my
friends didn't make it to be 28, many of my friends didn't make it to see 17, 18, 21, 22. they didn't make it. i'm now standing here a 28-year-old woman with a ten-year-old son losing 28 loved ones in the city of chicago due to violence. this young man was my cousin. i helped raise him. do you understand? i fought for ten years in chicago against violence. i did everything that they tell you to do. do you know how they tell you to vote? they tell you to stand up in your community. they tell you to tell your friends, put the guns down. they tell you to go to your local youth center. they tell you to be friends with
the police. i've done everything, but nothing that we seem to be doing in chicago is working. i will never forget getting a call on july 29th from my cousin's mother telling me that our baby is gone. this was the weekend of my family reunion, the weekend that i said i'm going to take some time and i'm going to do what the average millennial do. spend time with your family. spend time with your friends. but instead i was greeted with my mom screaming and her telling me, your baby is gone, because i basically raised him. people don't understand the devastation that it is in chicago for us. i live in fear, you all, i live in fear. i don't even like having a good
time. i don't like going to social outings. i don't like being in public. i'd rather stay at home and just watch tv because if i go out, anything can happen. in chicago and in other urban places in america funerals have become our class family reunions. facebook posts has become an update for do you know who was just killed this weekend. i have been to more funerals than i have been to weddings and baby showers. period. among my cousin being killed i lost a 16-year-old mentee, an african-american male, got into marquette university to be a swimmer on a full scholarship.
he was gunned down. because we don't have the resources to help, i had to come out of my pocket and help bury a 16-year-old young male. i called on chicago's leadership, this is the day before our election, i said, listen, what's more important, to fight and show that we support our babies or to continue to knock on doors to say give me your vote so i can do absolutely nothing for you? no one came and stood at a high school with these young grieving freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. i was the only one there. but then it took me back to my ptsd. when i was their age i experienced the same thing. a loved one -- a friend that i had just seen gunned down. no counselors, no pastors, nowhere to turn, just angry thinking, this is what life is about for me.
we don't even -- a lot of young people don't even dream. i want to go to law school, i'm working on my masters, but the fear of me being able to lose my life, that's what i'm fighting. i'm fighting to live. i'm fighting to protect my ten-year-old son because i don't know. i was here july 5th, two weeks before my cousin was gunned down, and i took part in an action where i went to jail downstairs in the capital to ask congress to call a vote on gun violence. did they call a vote? absolutely not. this has been our fight, this has been our plea and we are being ignored. it seems like no one wants to talk about it but people want to talk about chicago to put in their speeches and to put in their presentations, but what i go through and what my friends
go through in chicago is devastating. not only are we faced with the gun violence problem in chicago, we're faced with a policing problem in chicago. i'm with families who are fighting just to get justice for their families who was killed by the chicago police department. and they are treated worse than a victim who lost their lives to gun violence. they tell us in chicago, why y'all worried about the police? y'all need to worry about the gun violence. but you ignore us on the gun violence because they don't want us to deal with that. we are living in constant fear in the city of chicago and if you guys can help us, say, chicago, help chicago, chicago needs to be put as a state of emergency. on my way here 17 people shot and killed in one weekend.
50 people shot. but because i'm from chicago i went to a chicago public school, they're mutual friends. so now they're grieving, now they're asking me, camiella, how you do it? i don't know how i do it. i'm painted, guys. it pains me heart so bad because i just don't know. i'm at 28 loved ones. 28. i just don't know no more. i've did everything i can do. i vote. i help on campaigns. i'm at forums, i'm speaking, i even wrote legislation, i wrote the blair holt assault weapons ban. i'm telling you, please help us. please help us. they want to say, well, black people need to stand up and be parents, yes, that's true but
not everybody knows how could be parents. despite my pain i still do what i need to do. i had 300 kids at a bonfire this weekend and they rode horses, but did that stop anything? i'm only one person and i'm doing it out of my own pocket. so i'm asking anybody that's in here listening, take your stand against gun violence. don't think that this is just a blackish u or this is just a gang issue. chicago is not just all gang violence, it's innocent people being gunned down in restaurants, going to the movies. like they said, i know pamela bossily whose son was killed coming out of a church. i know willie wilson whose son was killed at a movie theater in broad daylight. i know blair holt parents, he was killed on a bus. i spoke to cleo pendleton before i left and i said i'm going to
try my best. i even spoke to tamir rice's mom and said, i'm with you. gun violence is gun violence. we need to intersect policing and gun violence because we need to do something about it in this country. i thank you guys for your time. i thank you for listening but please get active in your respective spaces. [ applause ] >> thank you so much. so much, camiella. she really helps to fill the void in terms of a voice of millennials. the viewing audience may not see, but we have so many legislative aides, we actually have a packed audience and more who would wish to be here and many of them are around her age and can probably relate to what she says. in fact, i will ask, how many of you use social media such as facebook? can you raise your hands? how many of you connect with your friends on facebook? what would it be like if you
could not connect with your friend? when you went on it was blank. there is no reunion, there is no meet you tomorrow, there is no let's get together. that's what she experiences. next i'd like to call judge glenda hatchett who is representing fernando castile's family. >> thank you very much, professor good win. i just want to thank you for your enormous work and that of your team and it is a privilege to be here. i have to tell you that miss jeffries whispered to me as i greeted her that i was at her daughter's school and that she -- her daughter remembers me going involved at that school. and until this morning i had never connected those dots. but you are not alone. none of us are alone in this fight. i want to use my time as
efficiently as possible and so what i'm going to do is i'm going to read you excerpts from a letter that i sent to attorney general loretta lynch dated august 2nd, after fernando castile was shot and fatally killed on july 6th. and then i'm going to quickly close with three points that i think are very, very important to this conversation and i thank all of you for being here. in this letter to attorney general i begin by saying that mr. castile was a 2-year-old african-american man shot to death on july 6th by geronimo yanez a st. anthony minnesota police officer. the county medical examiner determined that mr. castile died from multiple gunshot wounds and ruled his death a homicide. in recent months there have been an alarming number of police shootings resulting in senseless
deaths across this country. these fatal police shootings highlight the serious concerns about the capacity of several law enforcement departments to ensure the public's safety while safe guarding deeply and strong constitutional guarantees of fairness and justice for all. the next section is about the video record of gland dough castile's death. the entire nation watched graphic, gruesome, live streaming video of mr. castile's bloodied and lifeless body slumped across a vehicle's front seat. the video captured clear audio and visual recordings of the critical moments immediately after he was shot multiple times. during the video a devastated but clear observer who we all now know as diamond reynolds,
ms. diamond reynolds, provided a detailed account contemporaneously with the unlawful shooting. without any time for reflection, the eyewitness repeated each step of the encounter. she confirmed that mr. castile was killed while complying with all -- and let me stress all -- of the officer's directives. she reported that officer yanez initially stopped mr. castile due to a broken taillight. there was no broken taillight. these facts prompt questions as to the officer's real intent in stopping mr. castile's car. we believe that he was pro filed based on race. after stopping the car the officer asked mr. castile to show his driver's license, vehicle registration. before producing the items requested mr. castile informed the police officer that he was lawfully carrying a firearm for which he possessed a valid
permit. mr. castile reached for his wallet which contained the requested items despite -- and i want to stress this -- despite his full compliance the officer fatally shot mr. castile. i'm just doing excerpts of the letters that i want to highlight. the video foot annual also showed the officer yelling at the passenger to leave the vehicle despite the fact that an unconscious dying man lay next to him. under minnesota law the use of deadly force by a police officer in the line of duty is only justified when necessary in three circumstances. as the video demonstrates the police officer in this instance was not attempting to arrest, capture or prevent the escape of mr. castile who was sitting in a stationary vehicle complying with the officer's instructions. there is no evidence to support that the officer or anyone else
needed protection from an apparent death or great bodily harm. while considering the totality of the circumstances, the time that mr. castile was shot no reasonable law enforcement officer would have used deadly force against mr. castile. this section is pattern of systemic racial profiling which is an important piece of this conversation. contrary to preliminary reports law enforcement records now now that mr. castile was pulled over because he possibly fit the profile of an alleged armed robbery suspect who supposedly had a broad nose. yes, a broad nose. this is not an adequate description under any circumstances and is code for black. equally troubling is a pattern of systemic racial profiling by area law enforcement officers in 2003 the institute on race and poverty at the university of
minnesota reported a statewide study and published minnesota's statewide racial profiling report despite the findings of bias, law enforcement did not enact any meaningful reforms in policing. the results has been the death of philando castile. i want to put a human face on this. these are not statistics. these are human beings. and so my letter to the attorney general i talked about the pattern of bias policing and what we were concerned about, but i want to tell you that he was employed for 13 years and to the point of the two previous speakers, this man was loved by his coworkers, by his family, and i can personally tell you that i was at the funeral and after the funeral there were
children at the school where he had been the cafeteria supervisor for 13 years and the principal, the administrators, teachers, students, the parents all told me that he knew every child's allergy out of 500, he knew every child by name and the parents affectionately referred to him as mr. rogers with dreads. people loved him and people in that funeral, children were crying coming out of that cathedral that day, parents were weeping, friends, a mother lost a son, a daughter her -- a sister lost a brother and to find it out on the internet, that's how they found out. and so i want to tell you that we know that 50 times between 2002 and the time of his death he was stopped on traffic violations. who gets stopped that many times? we know at least 50 times.
who gets stopped that when times? and half of those cases were thrown out because there was no basis for those stops. so i want to end this part by saying to you that when asked -- well, let me just say this, local government officials, policymakers and law enforcement officers have resisted for too long ongoing community efforts to curtail the racial profiling and excessive use of force. these circumstances have got to change in this nation and i will tell you that the governor when asked in minnesota, governor mark dayton said, and i quote, would this have happened if the driver and passenger would have been white? his response was, i don't think so. i don't think so, either. my three closing points are we have to have transparency and accountability, i applaud the u.s. department's position, but the mandates aren't sufficient
and the sanctions don't go far enough. we have to also be clear that there have never been a police officer charged ever in the history of minnesota and we see that is pretty much the trend across the nation. and then lastly in closing i will tell you that i believe and i am thrilled -- i am thrilled and grateful to robert bennett who you will hear from very shortly that he has joined the legal team with me on the castile civil case and i believe in my heart of hearts that we have an opportunity to make this the tipping point for change in this nation and that this can be a landmark decision that drives effective change not only in minnesota but nationally. thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you so much, judge hatchett. what she brings to light for us is how this intersection of gun
violence and trauma and terror also sadly can involve and does involve law enforcement in the united states. and it's sad reporting on that because law enforcement does, in fact, so much good but there is incredible tragedy that we have seen captured by cell phones. in some ways the kind of new liberation movement has come from apple and samsung because over the last two to three years those are the pieces of equipment, the devices, that have been used to confirm what latino people and african-americans have been saying for decades. and now it captures it in really profound and sad details. i tell you i was in europe at the time that philando castile died, was killed, and while i was there it was broadcast
throughout europe so others saw it and people asked me, what's going on in the united states? many people from the united states don't necessarily know that there are people who are actually fearful coming to the united states because of gun violence here. they wonder, people who are brown-skinned, what will happen to them when they come to the united states. and i was deeply moved, in fact, when diamond reynolds captured on video what happened to her because i had a similar experience with my daughter in the back seat of my car when she was four years old and i was driving to madison, wisconsin, and was stopped in the middle of the night by a person who was in an unmarked car and did not have a police uniform on and when i stopped because a white light was flashed on my car and i pulled over i was deeply concerned and one might say, well, why in the world would you stop just because someone flashes a white light on your
car. when i've posed this african-americans in the car say i know why, because she didn't want her car to be shot up saying she was resisting or running from police. that is why i stopped because my daughter was in a car seat in the back seat. when the officer, person who i came to know as an officer, came to my car i said, please identify yourself and if you are an officer please let me know why i am stopped. it was at that time that this individual pulled out a flashlight and began beating on my car saying, nigger, i'm a police officer. nigger, i'm a police officer. i was terrified. but to put that in context only weeks before i had learned about ama dudialo and his shooting, i learned about a young woman in california who her parents called law enforcement to help her because her car had been stopped on the road and she was shot more than a dozen times, four times in the head. i was worried about that. so when philando castile died and though i was in europe and i
heard that there was a child in the car i thought about my daughter. i thought about my own experience. we survived that evening but i think about those who will have those kinds of memories seared in their imagination, their sleep, their living waking time forever. we are now going to move to a panel discussion but we're going to start off with brief presentations. first by robert bennett, then followed by jack cole and then concluding with dr. george woods and we will have a brief period for question and answer after. mr. bennett. >> thank you. i'm a trial lawyer -- >> is the microphone on? >> excuse me. i'm a trial lawyer in minneapolis, i've been doing trial work for 40 years, most of which -- or much of which has
been involved in section 1983 or civil rights work, much of it has dealt with police misconduct. as media coverage of police incidents have grown in past years i think the public has a little better understanding of it. the police excuse when asked about it says that, you know, force is sometimes ugly and brutal and that people -- that ordinary citizens aren't able to understand what it really is when they see it. i have a contrary view, i believe that seeing is believing. we have a short window of time today and i want to get to some things that for you to see and make your own judgments on some particular cases, but, you know, the images you are about to see they have helped people make decisions about whether to bring section 1983 cases, about
whether to bring disciplinary actions against the police officers, rarely criminal actions, and they have in several cases made the ability of medical examiners to make proper manner and cause of death calls and you will see one in a few seconds here. but i'd like to show you kind of the attitudinal climate. three of these are minneapolis police department cases involving african-americans. let's go to the first one. this is sort of a garden variety excessive force case. this is a chase, black man is running, you see him hop the fence, can't get up there. now, that is surrender. that is not accepting surrender.
now, there's no excuse for force once you've exceeded the police authority. basically he was not allowed to surrender and the beating continues for quite a bit of time here but without the squad video we wouldn't have the ability to see this clear example of excessive force. there are some officers that don't even want to be on camera as you can see and for good reason. i think we are done with that one. the second involved another police tool, weapon, in this case it isn't a gun it's a k-9 and this fellow is a chase, i wouldn't call it high speed, this is minnesota weather at its finest. the driver bales, the passenger is, again, surrendering as i think you can see. that's as surrendering as you can get in the front seat of a
car, i think. >> unquestionably surrendering. there is the -- there is the k-9 and the k-9 handler who sees him surrenderi surrendering. and you see the dog placed in the front seat attacking a surrendering person. so people find it hard to believe these things exist, but if you show them that ultimately they come to the judgment. that officer was not disciplined until he let the dog loose and attacked his sergeant. the next case i'd like to go to is not a gun case but involves the minneapolis police
misconduct and the ymca basketball court and person who was mentally ill, 29-year-old african-american person was taking some robitussin and didn't like to be touched, he had some autistic signs, was tased five times and then handcuffed. why don't you just play it through and i will narrate it. >> now, they're kneeling -- they're kneeling between his scapula and another officer is seated on the -- this guy is kneeling right between his shoulder blades. after being tased five times kind of a rough and tumble fight but not, you know -- not something you could use deadly force on. they got him under control, he is in the prone position.
they're talking about -- >> i can't believe you punched him in the face. >> yeah, he did. >> they're still kneeling on hi him. >> the medical examiner explained that that was agonal breathing, that's the death rattle. that's not a voluntary sound that a human being makes. that means you're dying. and these guys are talking about what they could charge him with, whether he could have this or that done to them. they're still kneeling on him and all the training is to put the person in a prone position or seat them up and we have to
get through this quickly but once they kneel on him the lungs have stopped, he can expire air, he can't get it back in and that's what's causing him to be dead. he died a few days later. >> his eyes were open. he's not breathing. his eyes are fixed. and i don't know what that is. but here is the latest conversation he has with his wife afterwards. you have to listen carefully. the officer -- >> i won't be home for a while. something bad happened, i can't talk about it right now. yeah. i'm not hurt. yeah, i'm not hurt, but [ inaudible ]. >> he and jimmy did kill a guy and they didn't get disciplined nor were they criminally
charged. if i can go to the next one real quick, here is the -- the client there -- the woman is the hostage, she's trying to get down on the ground, he's yanking her back up. i can show you the video, it takes too long. at any rate, he then pulls her from the car and makes stabbing motions. there is 11 officers in a tactical semi-circle, there you see him in the stabbing motion. they decide to shoot him, four officers shoot him to -- shoot 22 bullets at him to save her. she's the focus of the protection of the deadly force. the s.w.a.t. leader in the white shirt and the body bunker approaches with this other guy and the rifle. go to the next one. and she gets the knife away from the knife holder, which seemed like a sensible thing to me to
do and then she tries to turn away from him and get away and he shoots her. if you look, these are all -- this is one second, he shoots her, the weapon in question is a 3 1/2 inch blade. the grand jury -- the grand jury does not find a bill of indictment. the sheriff's department came to us and said they missed that one. he should be charged criminally. we have that, it's a civil case pending. >> thank you very much. it's amazing what the power -- [ applause ] >> -- of video and footage does in these particular cases. some of that you've seen now. one of the questions that must be asked because some people say, well, police are doing what they should be doing and people shouldn't be committing crimes.
but one of the things that you have to ask yourself and that members of congress and the justice department will have to ask, does it deserve a death sentence when someone is selling cigarettes outsid of a candy shop? does it deserve the death sentence when a little boy is playing with a fake weapon in a park? does it deserve the death sentence when someone is running away but then stops and raises his or her hands? and those are important questions for us. next speaking will be jack cole. >> hi. i like to stand up and see my audience reaction when i'm speaking. i was a member of the new jersey
state police, retired a detective lieutenant after 26 years there, 14 years under cover in narcotics. my role in narcotics started in 1970 so i saw the war on drugs grow from nothing to this horrible monstrosity it is today. so when you're asking how did we get here, how did you get to this point with all these pictures we just saw, that was the war on drugs. the war on drugs was created completely needlessly. in 1970 when i started under cover that was the beginning and in 1970 the likelihood of anybody in this country dying as a result of the drug war was less than the likelihood of them dying from falling down the steps in their own home. it was less than the likelihood of them dying from choking to death on their own food at dinner, but we started a war on drugs.
so you have to ask why. and the answer to that why is actually told by richard nixon's domestic policy adviser john urlicman. it was richard nixon who started -- initiated the war on drugs. john urlicman said in an interview in 1994, and i quote "you want to know what this is really all about?" the nixon campaign in 1968 and the nixon white house after that had two enemies, the anti-war left and black people. do you understand what i'm saying? we knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but -- excuse me -- but by getting the public
to associate the hippies with marijuana and the blacks with heroin and then by criminalizing both heavily we could disrupt their communities, we could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings and vilify them night after night on the evening news. did we know we were lying about the drugs? of course we did. so says john urlicman. think of what we did in 1970. 1970 we said that what a person decides to put in their own body not only makes him a criminal but we are going to go to war against those people. we trained our police officers to go to war. that's a terrible metaphor for policing in a democratic society. people who go to war are
soldiers and they have a completely different aspect as do police officers who are supposed to protect and serve. and when you're trained to go to war many of our police officers came to believe that their job was to put away drug dealers or drug users no matter what they had to do to do it. and that's when corruption raised its ugly head. that's when we started lying on the stand about how we made arrests. that's when we started using really excessive brutality because these people were first demonized, made to look in our eyes that they weren't really human. people who were using drugs. this is all about racism, folks. all of it. you know, it wasn't a
coincidence that after hundreds of years of slavery in this country we ended that in 1865 and within ten years in the south those folks down there created jim crow, a system that kept black folks engaged like animals in work details for another 100 years. that lasted until 1965 when finally we passed the civil rights act. and only three years after the civil rights act was passed saying, you know, it's not a good thing to discriminate against people because of the color of their skin, only three years after that richard nixon created the war on drugs which he implemented in 1970. and the idea of the war on drugs
is that, no, it's not a good idea to discriminate -- discriminate against people because of the color of their skin but first you can label them a criminal, you can do anything you want to. that's why today in our state prisons 60% of the people in those prisons are black folks there for felony narcotics arrests. in our federal prison system 81% of the people there for narcotics felonies are black folks. 37% of all the people we arrest in this country for drug violations are black. they only account for 13% of the population and blacks are known to use drugs at almost exactly the same level as white folks.
and once these folks are in prison it doesn't stop there. a black man in prison serves a sentence of about six years on average in prison for exactly the same drug crimes that a white man serves four years in prison for. this is racism, folks. it's institutionalized racism. and it's because of that that you see things like what's going on today with -- with our police where we're pushed to make as many arrests as we can possibly make. why? because the drug war, narcotics arrests are the only arrests that please can make in the united states that we get paid extra for. how do we do that? the federal government actually gives us extra money in funding
based on how many drug arrests our department made the year before we get more money if we make more arrests. we've got to end this. [ applause ] >> tonight there will be a town hall meeting at the national press club that will delve in even more into the types of state and federal policies which have resulted in the types of policing that we see and the types of pressure that's been on police to do exactly what they have been doing. it's not isolated. there is enormous pressure on police officers as we've seen with the justice department report about ferguson, missouri. how officers are told to target people for low level offenses and to ticket them because it generates revenue. and you will also hear mr. cole
talking about as well how the drug war itself and federal drug policy actually incentivizes police departments to, in fact, track on drugs. now, it's important in this discussion and before i turn to dr. woods who will wrap up our panel and then we will turn to q & a, it's important that we think about what crime actually is because often it's gotten wrong. a lot of people say, well, police go where crime is and that's it, but let me tell you something as a law professor who has taught at the university of chicago, who teaches in the university of california system and who used to teach in chicago, crime happens on every university campus every weekend and during the week and you all who have been in college know that. how many of you can nod about that? illicit drug use, illicit drug selling, underaged selling. yes, i see lots of people nodding. and how many police come in cracking down with their dogs, with guns? they don't. so this whole fiction about,
well, we just go where the crime happens, that's not true. if we wanted to find out where crime it. we know. stop at duke, stop at virginia, stop at harvard, stop at yale, stop at stanford, my daughter goes to stanford, i have a niece who is at yale, i have another one at the university of chicago. crime is happening, but that's not where policing are happening. so our statistics are skewed. whenever you see statistics that suggest, well, no, we were just going where the crime was, if you don't see the statistics pointing to those universities and other places, then it's actually not accurate and you actually know this from your own experience. we're going to conclude this panel with dr. woods. >> good afternoon. it's such a pleasure to be here, it's such a pleasure to see so many people here. i was momentarily distracted by jack when he talked about 1968 because it reminded me that in
1968 i was both a hippie and obviously i was black, i had a big natural and had my rick james leather jeans on, we won't comment about the marijuana, but it certainly was a time that was very, very exciting for me and when i think back on what judge hatchett said in terms of circumstances have to change, it makes me feel really hopeful to see you here when you didn't have to be. thank you. when you didn't have to be because circumstances don't have to change. you have that responsibility to determine whether circumstances will change or not. in the early 20th century there was a species of bird, canaries, that were placed in the shafts of mines, coal mines and silver
mines, gold mines and the canaries were there to determine whether nocuous fumes that were coming out of the mines were coming out at such a rate such as to kill the miners. if those canaries died the miners knew that those nocuous fumes were coming out and they should get out of the mine. those children suffering from repetitive gun violence are the canary people of our society positioned in the mine shaft of our culture, suffering the killing consequences of our actions. our children familiar with repetitive gun violence adapt and grow in unhealthy and dangerous ways, often beyond our ability to understand and to control. my role on this panel is to provide the science, the
developmental trajectory those exposed to repetitive gun violence follow. but first just for a moment let's think for a moment about how the environment and the brain interact. when a human child is born about 40% of its brain is developed. a kid's brain is 65% developed at birth and an ant's brain, i don't know the name for a child ant, i apologize, an ant's brain is about 90% developed. why are human brains so woefully developed at birth? why are our children so immature developmentally compared to other species? what we believe is they have so much to learn. they have to learn coping skills, they have to learn language, they have to learn reading, writing, spelling, social skills, playing and socializing and most of all they
have to learn caring for others. we now understand our genetics as well as parts of our brain respond directly to exposure to repetitive trauma, creating eventually a numbing alteration of both bodily and brain function. and we have examples of both. the dutch hunger winter phenomenon is an example of the body functioning going awry. secondary to trauma. in 1945 in holland the fetuses that were born in that year suffered what was called a finite nutritional honing. the children that were born that year learned because of the extraordinary hunger that they underwent to change their body and, in fact, use nutrition and nutrients in a much different
way than other generations. what ended up happening with that generation in holland was an incredibly high rate of diabetes, of other diseases that are really secondary to nutrition. in the same way that we see this physically, neurologically there is impact of trauma on the brain. the right parietal lobe, the lobe if you have a chance to read dr. einstein's brain, it's the largest lobe in the body other than the frontal lobe, it's that part of the brain that's damaged by trauma and we see the children cannot get the big picture. they cannot effectively weigh and deliberate. their ability to abstract is impaired in ways -- and this is the literature that we now know. this is not theory. we know this. we can look at the functional mris and the diffusion imaging and see the impact of this on
the brain. a noted neuropsychologist at stanford says the consequences of early experience can be so persistent as to be multi-generational and as we grow older we see our parents and perhaps our grandparents not only in the mirror, but in our actions, our behaviors, even our beliefs. so the brain is always developing and at any given point in life the brain has been sculpted by all that has come before it, even by things long, long before. the game a rapper from compton, california, was asked during an arts and entertainment documentary called "the streets of compton" what he felt to be the most devastating thing occurring in compton, california. he could have said poverty because we all know the impact of poverty. he could have said education, because we all know that the
undermining of education leads to an impact in our ability to critical thinking. what he said, however, was guns. this insight is quite important when considering whether the long-term consequences can be reversed in humans exposed early in life to abuse or deprivation. to a shortage of calories or of love, or to the corrosive effects of being bathed in fear and lessons of hopelessness once born. don't forget, all of us are miners. all of us have to come past where the canaries are in order to stay alive. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> so before we begin the q & a i really want to thank you all
and also the congressmen and women whose offices that you work in and their commitment and care about these issues. let's conclude and then we will take q & a with just a couple of things that our american public and that you should know. in 2015 there were almost 13,000 people killed in the united states because of gun violence. now, let's put that in context over a ten-year period. between 2005 and 2015 there were 71 americans killed by terrorist attacks. all right. so between 2005 and 2015, 71 americans in terrorist attacks. and during that same period gun violence over 300,000. i think that really tells us something, that puts it in perspective, doesn't it, about the urgency of this issue and
our responsibility to address these issues. i think with all that you've heard today there's one thing that we all agree upon here and that is the explicit repeal of the dickie amendment. the dickie amendment is one that even former congressman dickie had said that he regrets having authored. it's something that he says we should think about again, but what the dickie amendment did in the 1990s is it explicitly said that none of the funds made available for injury prevention at the cdc may be used to advocate or promote gun control. and this was said to be a shot across the bow with the cdc stopping any research that it was doing on public health and gun violence.
now, since then president obama has said, no, cdc, you can go forward and do this, but just last year alone there are over 110 members of congress that said, let's do an explicit repeal because the cdc isn't doing it. the cdc is in fear that somehow they will be violating federal law to engage in research that would tell us about the public health impacts of gun violence. there were 110 members of congress who signed a letter in 2015 about this and even if the repeal goes forward and we certainly hope that it does, there remains the question of congressional funding so that we can understand this problem better. now, with that are there any questions that you all have? yes, sir. please identify yourself and please speak as loud as you can. yes, in the back.
>> [ inaudible ] i have a question for anyone on the panel, you all are qualified and i would love to be able to hear from more than one of you. drugs and gun violence are often linked and this coming november a number of states have ballot initiatives to legalize marijuana in particular, a lot of campaigns are noting that discrimination, excessive force comes along with the war on drugs and so i wanted to know if any of you are seeing any evidence that there is going to be a reduction in gun violence police excessive force if and when some of these initiatives to legalize drugs, specifically marijuana, are passed? >> thank you very much. quickly phrased for our viewing audience, the question is with many marijuana initiatives on ballot for november, if there is an expectation that there will be a reduction in gun violence.
>> let me just say quickly the experience that we have had in certain states has been that there has been a reduction in -- in certain types of has been a n certain types of arrests when marijuana has been legalized. however, i think it is is important for us to keep in mind when we talk about drugs, we're talking about alcohol as well. not just illegal drugs. most of my work is done with capital cases, people that are on death row. many, many of those cases are alcohol. so we still have to look at the impact of alcohol, legal drugs, as well as that that are on the ballot to be legalized. >> thank you very much. there's another question up here. oh, yes. we need a microphone down there. thank you very much.
>> i will speak for chicago and reduction in gun violence when we deal with the drug issue. no for chicago because it's deeper than that. we have to deal with the fact that for young people simply to have anything to do. it is not that they are killing each other over drugs. i don't know if you know what drill music is but it is music where you gang bang through music. so if i say i'm into it with somebody else and there's a record label giving me money to basically kill my fellow -- they call it op, my opposition, then drugs have nothing to do with it. so the drug thing, no.
>> this organization i run over 200,000 members now, cops, judges, prosecutors, prison officials. and we believe that what is causing all of this, almost all of the gun violence -- you know when you say a drug is illicit you said alcohol was illicit for 13 years back 100 years ago, organized crime was created. and everybody started selling illegal alcohol. and to do that if you get ripped off you couldn't go to a cop and say i was just robbed because everybody had to have a gun. that is what happened now that we started this war on other drugs. and young kids that can't get a job because we don't have enough jobs or worry about the kids in certain neighborhoods getting a
job, they go and do the drug business because it is an only choice. most of them would never be doing that if they were given another decent choice. but this is what they do. they all have to have a gun to protect themselves. you're in a situation where when i was a kid, somebody would dis my girlfriend or say a bad word, they would probably get punched in the nose. but when you have a gun in your pocket people pull out the gun and use it. >> next question. just one moment, please, sir. thank you. >> thank you for being here. my question has to do with improper policing and violence and having so much evidence be graphic evidence how it is done, how is it in terms of our public laws that no one ever gets
punished for it? >> well, i will tell you that our research in minnesota, not just nationally, they are prrd. you think about it, never in the history in the state of minnesota. but what has to happen is i talked about just briefly transparency and accountability. the justice department has said they want data. will the sanctions they don't do the.com. what are the consistencies and the standards of doing that until we see really systemic reform and not just one case after another case after another case. and when i say i'm thrilled that i joined the team, i think there has to be federal case that then becomes the standard how we do this in these policing cases. we saw the videos bob showed us.
we know people are indicted. until there is some kind of accountability, and people are held accountable, this will continue in life. >> let me just add to that and we will take our next question. we know there must be better research. many police departments do not keep statistics on this. many police departments do not have cameras. or if they do, they don't make sure the cameras are taping and that they are reviewing those tapes. less than 1% of police are indicted after a police shooting of a civilian. and this raises real questions about prosecutors. to expand this conversation we also have to look at the accountability of prosecutors and whether or not they will pursue these particular cases in ethical ways. and that is a real gap. and we have to pay attention to that particular gap if they want to see real reform take place. there's another question up here
in the front. >> hi. my name is madeline. i'm an intern. i was wondering if the nra is still the main obstacle for gun legislation and funding for research and how their influence can be resisted and overcome. >> thank you very much for that question. >> yes. they are. and that's what we're trying to do is basically educate you guys, educate legislators to take a stand and say, listen, no more will you fund our campaigns. we're not taking any dollars. and that's what we all have to do. we have to put the pressure on our elected officials. he they say if you do not vote for common sense gun legislation then you will not be re-elected.
that's basically what we need to do. >> it will no longer be a sense of pride to get an nra. >> yes. >> that should not be a point of pride for any legislator. legislators who say they are resistant to taking money from lobbyists, the first on the list should be the nra. it was the nra that pressured congress which led to the dickey amendment. and i think that anybody watching this, any of you in this room would see the travesty in shackling our own cdc from studying the impacts of gun violence. who would ever do that? there is no other country in the world that would say we won't allow ourselves to look at these impacts. let me just give you a statistic to tell you why, in fact, we should. did you know that in 2005, one toddler per week shot someone?
one toddler per week shot someone in the united states. and he we say we can't research this, we can't look at this? why would we allow ourselves to be shackled like that? there's a question in the back. >> hi. my name is sidney jordan. teach for america fellow. this is such an enormous problem in our country. and as someone who comes from a community where i have a friend shot by the police, friends killed by gun violence and a brother in prison for gun trafficking, sometimes it gets very discouraging. so i'm wondering what advice do you all have for young legislative assistants and
people on the heel, and young people to try to help eradicate this problem? >> first thing i would suggest is talk to your legislators about emptying drug prohibition. there's nothing that could be done in one fell swoop that could do more to reduce death, disease, crime, addiction and save billions of our dollars than ending the war on drugs. in 46 years that we have been fighting it, we have spent over $1.5 trillion on this war. and all we have to show for it is that we have made more than 50 million arrests in this country alone for nonviolent drug offenses and 44% of those arrests, 22 million of them, were marijuana offenses. and then we do everything we can do the to destroy those young
people's lives that were arrested. and it just makes the situation worse and worse and worse. it is is perpetuating, policy expanding disaster. >> thank you. does anyone else want to address that question? would you pass the microphone. thank you. in last week's form affairs, there was a fascinating article called the great white nope, n.o.p.e. it speaks to the pop limp we're seeing in the united states but we are seeing around the world. we are seeing brexit in england, germany is having difficulty with immigration. 6 so you're going to see a broadening of your constituency. as long as this has been an issue that looked like it affected poor black folks, there's not as much re